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Nationals Journal: August 8, 2010 - August 14, 2010

Game 117 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

Tonight, Jason Marquis makes just his fifth start of the season -- not exactly what the Nationals thought they'd be getting on August 14 when they signed him to a two-year, $15 million contract in the offseason. In his four...

By Jorge Castillo  |  August 14, 2010; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Jason Marquis , Jim Riggleman  
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Riggleman: Nyjer Morgan will have quick rehab stint

Manager Jim Riggleman said he expects centerfielder Nyjer Morgan will play two rehab games starting on Monday before he'll be eligible to come off the disabled list. Riggleman said Morgan will join the the big league team in Atlanta. The...

By Jorge Castillo  |  August 14, 2010; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Jim Riggleman , Nyjer Morgan  
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Rizzo confident that Harper will sign

For the second consecutive August, the Nationals are in the NL East basement and going down to the wire to sign a number one overall draft pick. Last year it was Stephen Strasburg and this year it's catcher/outfielder Bryce Harper...

By Jorge Castillo  |  August 14, 2010; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Bryce Harper , draft  
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Assessing Bryce Harper's options and value

Bryce Harper insists he could go back to college, despite limited options before Monday's signing deadline.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 14, 2010; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Bryce Harper , Stephen Strasburg , draft  | Tags: Bryce Harper, Scott Boras, Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals  
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Nationals vs. Diamondbacks: Tonight's lineups

Below are the lineups for tonight's 7:05 p.m. game at Nationals Park. Ian Desmond, who has hit .324 in 78 plate appearances in the two hole, is hitting second for the 19th time this season. Adam Kennedy will play second...

By Jorge Castillo  |  August 14, 2010; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Marquis to start Saturday

Jason Marquis will pitch for the Nationals on Saturday, his second start since undergoing elbow surgery in May. His first appearance back was disappointing. He lasted four-plus innings an 8-3 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday. Marquis gave up five...

By Preston Williams  |  August 13, 2010; 7:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Jason Marquis  | Tags: Jason Marquis  
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Kasten bracing for the Harper 'derby'

Nationals President Stan Kasten jokes that he is braced for the "Kentucky Derby process" that is the signing deadline, which is midnight Monday.

By Preston Williams  |  August 13, 2010; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Bryce Harper , Stephen Strasburg , draft  | Tags: Bryce Harper, Draft, Scott Boras, Stan Kasten  
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Nationals vs. Diamondbacks: Tonight's lineups

The Nationals' lineup for tonight's game against Arizona at Nats Park: 1. Alberto Gonzalez 2B 2. Ian Desmond SS 3. Adam Dunn 1B 4. Ryan Zimmerman 3B 5. Josh Willingham LF 6. Michael Morse RF 7. Justin Maxwell CF 8....

By Preston Williams  |  August 13, 2010; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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The team the Nationals just can't beat

Since the start of the 2008 season, the Nationals are 13-34 against the Florida Marlins. That's a .277 pace that, extrapolated over a 162-game season, would produce a 45-117 record. In other words, when facing the Marlins, the Nationals...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 13, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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It will either be a very long night, or a very short one

UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: Announcement in the press box: Estimated start time of 9 p.m. UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Here comes the grounds crew to remove the tarp. There could be baseball here in about half an hour. UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.: Not...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 12, 2010; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Bryce Harper going back to school? 'Hell, no'

Tyler Hanks probably has more insight into first overall pick Bryce Harper than anyone in the Nationals organization. Hanks, a 17th-round choice currently pitching like one of the more promising members of the Nationals 2010 draft class, played with Harper...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 12, 2010; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Bryce Harper  
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Willingham's knee may require offseason surgery

Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham, out of the lineup tonight for the second straight game, acknowledged he has been limited on the field by the soreness in his left knee and said it may require surgery this offseason. Willingham said...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 12, 2010; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Today's lineups

Josh Willingham remains out of the Nationals lineup with a sore knee. Willingham, who hit a pinch-hit double last night, will again sit in favor of Willie Harris. Nationals 1. Roger Bernadina, CF 2. Ian Desmond, SS 3. Ryan Zimmerman,...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 12, 2010; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Nationals Minor League Report

GLUV WILL FIND A WAY: Nats p.r. maven Bill Gluvna provided this week's minor league report yesterday evening, and here it is in it's entirety. Come for the Nats minor league info, stay for the puns. As always, leave your...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 12, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Second thoughts about Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond might be a different, much more productive hitter when he bats second in the lineup. He has taken 67 at-bats this year from No. 2 hole, which, as Manager Jim Riggleman pointed out, is "probably too small...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 12, 2010; 12:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Ian Desmond  | Tags: Ian Desmond, Nationals offense  
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Game 114 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Marlins

Tonight, Scott Olsen will make his fifth career start against the Marlins, the team that drafted him and then traded him to the Nationals before the 2009 season. In his career against Florida, Olsen is 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 11, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Stephen Strasburg's new routine and Nationals injury updates

Head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz met with reporters this afternoon and provided an array of updates on injured Nationals players, including shedding light on something Stephen Strasburg mentioned last night. Strasburg said he began a new "program" between starts after...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 11, 2010; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Slumping Josh Willingham, playing with a sore knee, gets a day off

Manager Jim Riggleman gave a day off to Josh Willingham, who is mired in a slump and, Riggleman insists, adversely affected by a lingering knee issue. Willingham "is a little banged up," Riggleman said. "His knee is barking a little...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 11, 2010; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Josh Willingham  
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Today's lineups

Josh Willingham, who has not hit a home run in more than 100 at-bats, will get a day off today and Willie Harris will get the start in left field. Nationals 1. Roger Bernadina, CF 2. Ian Desmond, SS 3....

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 11, 2010; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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A rare case of not meeting expectations

Late last night, right after calling Stephen Strasburg way more mature than any 22-year-old he'd ever know, Ryan Zimmerman thought back to when he was 22 and trying to make it in the majors. "I didn't throw 100," Zimmerman...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 11, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Tags: For Strasburg, a rare case of not meeting expectations  
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Game 113 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Marlins

Stephen Strasburg has thrown his final warm-up pitches in the Nationals bullpen and made the walk from down the right field line to the Nationals dugout. He gave Everything seemed normal about his pregame routine. Miguel Batista was standing against...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Good news for Nyjer Morgan

Nyjer Morgan should not remain on the disabled list past the minimum 15 days.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Nyjer Morgan  | Tags: Nyjer Morgan  
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Nationals honor Andre Dawson

The Nationals recognize Hall of Famer Andre Dawson in a pregame ceremony.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  franchise history  | Tags: Andre Dawson  
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A correction

A misunderstanding on my part led to an unfortunate mistake in the story I wrote today about Stephen Strasburg and the attention paid to his pitching mechanics. I wrote that pitching coach Steve McCatty had called White Sox pitching coach...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Nationals announce Ring of Honor

Along with recognizing Montreal Expos Hall of Famer Andre Dawson tonight, the Nationals will unveil tribute to players associated with Washington baseball with a Ring of Honor high above the field at Nationals Park behind home plate. The Nationals worked...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Today's lineups

As Stephen Strasburg returns, the Nationals will use their typical starting lineup, with Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate and calling the pitches. Nationals 1. Roger Bernadina, CF 2. Ian Desmond, SS 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B 4. Adam Dunn, 1B 5....

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Nationals send El Duque to Harrisburg

The Nationals today sent Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez to Class AA Harrisburg, officially removing his from the disabled list. Hernandez, whom the Nationals signed roughly one month ago as, had been pitching with the Nationals' Gulf Coast League affiliate in...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 2:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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In-game chat: Nationals vs. Marlins

Join Dave Sheinin tonight to discuss tonight's game between Nationals and the Florida Marlins, and rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg's return from the disabled list. Strasburg's return...

By Alexa Steele  |  August 10, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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The Washington Nationals by the obscure numbers

I've got something a little different this morning. I spent a good chunk of time Monday night poking around Baseball Reference, Fan Graphs and StatsPass and these are some of the more interesting nuggets I stumbled across. I'm not...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 10, 2010; 6:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman , Stephen Strasburg  
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Does Jason Marquis have a future with Washington Nationals?

Apologies for the tardiness of today's Morning Brushback. Let's call this a West Coast version. Looking ahead, it is difficult to form any conclusions about Jason Marquis and the 2011 season. Marquis has made just one injury-free start this...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 9, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  Jason Marquis  
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Balester sent to AAA to make way for Strasburg

Balester demoted to make way for Strasburg

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  August 8, 2010; 8:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Collin Balester , Pitching rotation , Stephen Strasburg  | Tags: Stephen Strasburg  
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Game 112 discussion thread: Nationals at Dodgers

Not often will you see a starting pitcher take the mound with (0-3, 20.52) next to his name in August, but Jason Marquis will do it today. He hasn't pitched since April 18, the disastrous start when he faced seven...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 8, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Ross Detwiler to disabled list, Craig Stammen to bullpen

The Nationals cleared the way for the addition of Jason Marquis and Stephen Strasburg to their starting rotation by sending Ross Detwiler to the 15-day disabled list and Craig Stammen to the bullpen. After making his first three starts of...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 8, 2010; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Craig Stammen , Pitching rotation , Ross Detwiler  
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Today's lineup

Alberto Gonzalez will bat lead off and Justin Maxwell will play against Dodgers left-handed starter Ted Lilly as Jason Marquis makes his first start since April. Nationals 1. Alberto Gonalez, 2B 2. Ian Desmond, SS 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B 4....

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 8, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Kevin Mench back in the bigs

As the summer went on, Kevin Mench could not avoid the notion hanging over him. "Maybe," he started thinking, "I won't get another opportunity." Mench had not played in the major leagues since August 2008. He figured, after a year...

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 8, 2010; 3:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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